Simplify Outdoor Landscape Painting with Lori McNee

Visit beautiful Sun Valley, Idaho with a fun two-day outdoor landscape painting workshop. Kneeland Gallery presents, "Simplify Outdoor Landscape Painting with Lori McNee."

Sun Valley is the perfect setting for outdoor landscape painting (aka. plein air painting). Voted North America's #1 Resort Three Years in a Row, Sun Valley is also home to Lori McNee!

Reserve your spot! Call Kneeland Gallery >>> (208)726-5512

Hosted by Kneeland Gallery, this year's workshop will be sponsored by Royal Talens North America! Since 1899, royal Talens has been known for quality fine art brands such as Cobra, Amsterdam, Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Bruynzeel, and more.


Lori's workshop on July 31-August 1 sets the stage for Kneeland Gallery's annual plein air paint-out and exhibition on August 2-4, where nationally acclaimed artists gather and paint. It's a perfect opportunity to watch top artists in the field and sharpen your painting skills.

Lori McNee painting in Sun Valley with Cobra Oil Paints. Lori is a Royal Talens Ambassador Artist.

The Details:

  • Sponsored by Royal Talens North America!
  • We will be painting beautiful Rocky Mountain landscapes in nearby locations.
  • We will visit Lori's Ketchum/Sun Valley home studio!
  • We will visit Kneeland Gallery to view and discuss the new plein-air paintings by Nationally renowned artists!
  • Discover Lori's simple approach to painting the landscape using a limited palette.
  • $325 per person
  • Open to ALL LEVELS
  • For oil painters and gouache painters.
  • More details coming soon!


Reserve your spot! Call Kneeland Gallery to SIGN UP>>> (208)726-5512

View from Bald Mountain, Sun Valley!
A moody day up Trailcreek in Sun Valley


2023 Plein Air Painting Workshop in Athens and Greek Islands with Lori McNee

Have you dreamed of traveling to Greece? Well, your dreams can come true! Escape with Lori McNee for a plein air painting workshop to historic and magnificent Athens and Hydra (Greek Islands) for a very special Paint Europe Trip , October 8-14, 2023.

Join me (Lori McNee) on a 5 Star, plein air painting workshop adventure hosted by my friend Tom Harter of Walk Europe/Paint Europe - specialty tours with concierge service.

We will be traveling from Athens to Hydra (Greek Islands) for a spectacular plein air painting and cultural trip of a lifetime! As a result, this will be another bucket-list trip for me! Read on to discover more...

"There are places on Earth where God has reached down from Heaven and touched in a special way, places where you feel like you're standing in the palm of His hand. When you find it, you know it, your soul knows it." - Michael Traveler, author of MIRACLE ROAD

Why Hydra? Here are some compelling reasons...

  • Hydra has always been the artists' muse of the Greek Islands. A magnet for artists with a picturesque harbor, hillside mansions and sparkling seas, Hydra boasts a relaxed artsy vibe.
  • Known as the Pearl of the Aegean Sea, Hydra is favored for its marvelous pebbled beaches with crystalline waters and spectacular sunsets.
  • In Hydra, dolphins and seals come to play in its waters without fear and visitors experience kindness, generosity and hospitality.
  • There are hiking routes across the island where wildflowers bloom and orange trees grow in abundance.
  • Cosmopolitan and chic, Hydra has managed to preserve its traditional flair as its original architecture. The picturesque port is dotted with lavish, pastel-hued mansions that date back to the late 18th century.
  • Hydra is known for its marvelous pebbled beaches with crystalline waters and the sunsets are spectacular to watch.
  • Everything you need is within walking distance. But, should you decide to venture a bit further, the island’s mules, donkeys and horses are the favored mode of transportation. There are over 1000 donkeys on Hydra! Visitors can ride the donkeys from the port and through the cobbled lanes which are home to the revered Aegean type street cats.

Hydra is famous!

  • Many Hollywood movies have been filmed in Hydra. When asked, Sophia Loren praised Hydra as “one of the most beautiful places in the world.” 
  • Hydra mesmerized Jackie Kennedy and has been a favorite playground to the likes of Aristotle Onassis, Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Sophia Loren, Princess Di, The Beatles, Eric Clapton and The Rolling Stones, to name a few.


7 Days / 6 Nights

October 8 - 14, 2023

From $4,725

($4,725 – Early-Bird Discount - Save $250 by signing up and full payment before January 30, 2023)

Hydra, Greece

The Itinerary Cliff Notes:

*There will be an optional pre-tour guide tour of the Acropolis on Sunday for anyone arriving to Athens early.


  • Our Grecian plein air painting workshop adventure starts with two nights (Sunday & Monday) in an oasis luxury hotel in Athens in the historical heart of the city. On Sunday evening we will enjoy a welcome dinner with our fellow workshop participants.
  • Monday will be a full day spent painting in Athens where we will paint Athens archeological landscapes and neighborhood scenes. The morning will start with a painting demo and then group plein air painting in The Agora archeological site with the Temple of Hephaestus. Then, in the late-afternoon I will lead a “golden hour” painting session in Athens’ historical and colorful Plaka neighborhood, with its labyrinthine streets and Neo-Classical architecture.


  • On Tuesday morning we will take a 1-1/2 hr jet-foil ride from Athens' port to the Greek Island of Hydra, one of the prettiest spots in Greece. We will check into our luxury hotel and then paint in Hydra on Tuesday afternoon. We will be staying in at a luxury boutique hotel and painting each day at different locations.


  • On Wednesday, Thursday & Friday we will paint the island's whitewashed houses and churches, ancient stone windmills, and stunning coastline scenes.
  • ​There will be personal free time for added individual painting, shopping in village boutiques, going for a horseback ride, swimming in the Aegean Sea, taking a Greek cooking class or relaxing at outdoor cafes.
  • Optional before breakfast group pleasure walks are organized for travelers who want some morning exercise before starting their vacation day.

*The trip includes many extras including a welcome reception with Greek wines and hors d'oeuvres, Greek wine tasting session, and a farewell gala dinner with traditional Greek cuisine and wines.

($4,725 – Early-Bird Discount - Save $250 by signing up and full payment before January 30, 2023)

Athens, Greece

​Each day we'll feed our creative souls. There will be plein air painting sessions in a variety of beautiful locations with demos and individual instruction as well as free-time to explore offered each day.

  • Open to painters of all levels - beginners to professionals.
  • ​Non-painter friends and spouses of artists are invited to join the trip at a reduced cost.
  • Oil, gouache and watercolor are welcome! Sketchbook journal artists are welcome too. (I will be painting and demoing in solvent-free oils and gouache).
  • Don't forget to bring your camera!

​Each day provides beautiful settings for a week filled of joyous plein air painting! We will be painting daily. You will take home your paintings along with many treasured memories of a fabulous Greece painting holiday & creative adventure.

What's Included:

  • Daily demonstrations by Lori McNee.
  • Daily sketching and painting sessions with Lori McNee.
  • Six nights in personally-selected premiere/luxury 5-star hotels.
  • Daily hotel buffet breakfasts.
  • Welcome Reception – with Greek wines and hor d'oeuvres hosted by Lori McNee and Paint Europe.
  • Retsina Wine Tasting Session hosted by Paint Europe.
  • Cocktail Hour Soirees – enjoy before dinner gatherings with local Greek wines hosted by Paint Europe.
  • Gala Farewell Dinner – with Greek cuisine and wines hosted by Paint Europe.
  • Castle/fort/palace and villa/garden entrance fees for all group activities.
  • Optional Morning Pleasure Walks - before breakfast group pleasure walks.
  • Villa/garden/museum entrance fees for all group activities.
  • Ground transportation for all group activities, including inter-Greece ferry transportation, and local water taxis.

individual painting, shopping in village boutiques, going for a horseback ride, swimming in the Aegean Sea, taking a Greek cooking class or relaxing at outdoor cafes.


Hydra, Greece

​Trip Cost:
Premiere/Luxury 5-Star Hotels
$4,725 – Early-Bird Discount - Save $250 by signing up and full payment before January 30, 2023
$4,975 – 7 days / 6 nights per person in double occupancy shared hotel room. Tour cost does not include airfare.
$1,250 – Added cost for single room accommodation option (limited availability).

Arrival & Departure City:
Athens, Greece

Trip Hosts:
Lori McNee, Artist & Instructor - More About Lori
Tom Harter, WalkEurope President - More About Tom

DIY Plein Air Painting Easel For Watercolor or Gouache

Plein air painting can be a major production especially if you are a beginner.

Over twenty years ago I began my plein air painting journey. Back then, each trip into the field involved loading up my entire studio setup in the trunk of the vehicle.

Painting and setup by Rett Longmore

I'd drive to a location, park and then haul out my equipment, oil paints, brushes, mineral spirits etc and march out into some pasture. I was so excited to paint, but setting-up was a burdensome task.

Then when it was time to pack up, the entire grueling process would be in reverse order! But now with the addition of a wet palette, dirty brushes plus a wet oil painting that I'd desperately try not to drop as I headed back to my car!

Yes there were some great pochade boxes on the market, but I was a struggling artist and those setups were always just out of the reach of my meager budget. However, I enjoyed painting outside and imagined there had to be a simpler, more inexpensive system.

Back then I was planning a backpacking trip deep into Idaho’s White Cloud Wilderness area. I imagined how fantastic it would be to spend some quiet evenings landscape painting the jagged peaks and high mountain lakes. But my main concern was how I would protect the wet oil panels in my crowded backpack. I was mulling over the complexities, then the thought came to me, “Why not use gouache?”

I hadn’t used gouache since art school. Yet, I recalled all the advantages it would have for painting remotely in the mountains. Gouache would be water-based, lightweight and the panels or sketchbook would be dry and easy to pack away.

With this new plan in mind I looked up some gouache tutorials and came across James Gurney’s Youtube channel. This fantastic artist/illustrator had developed a unique DIY plein air painting easel setup for holding his watercolor/gouache sketchbooks as he painted plein air on location. This was exactly what I was needing! I rummaged through my garage and found various wood scraps and got work.

Inspired by James Gurney's setup, my own DIY plein air painting easel essentially consists of two 10 ”x 6” x .125” birch panels. The panels are joined together with two tension hinges and I added a glued piece of .375 thick plywood on the back with an open metal thread to match my tripod's quick release attachment.

After that I drilled out some small circles and glued into an array of magnets to which I can attach a small metal painting tray (left over from a colored pencil box) and a rubber collapsable cup (I throw a couple of more magnets into the cup before adding water). Finally, I attach my panel or sketchbook with a couple of small clamps I found at the hardware store.

Later, I discovered the James Gurney sells a DVD with detailed instruction on how to build his specific easel. However, after a few years in service I have no complaints about my set up.

Keeping it simple and hassle free has given me more time for painting in the field. Now I don't miss out those fleeting sunsets and other impromptu painting moments. I just grab painting satchel filled with what I need to hit the ground running and painting when I arrive at my destination!

Guest artist: A Southeast Idaho native by way of the city of Iona, Rett Longmore grew up with a passion for the outdoors. Rett graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the Art Institute of Phoenix studying character animation.

An Easy Way to Travel with Wet Oil Paintings

Here's my best fine art tip for traveling with wet oil paintings! 🎨

Paint Tuscany with Lori McNee - Italy Workshop

While teaching a plein air painting workshop in Italy, I discovered a simple way to safely transport and travel with wet oil paintings. I’ve been transporting wet plein air paintings this way ever since.

In fact, I'll use this same technique for transporting wet paintings home from South Africa later this summer.

Here’s how… (but watch the IG Reel below and it will all make sense!)

  1. Cut a wine cork into four penny sized pieces
  2. Add one slice to each corner of the wet painting
  3. Gently place another painting face-down on top of the cork pieces. This should look like a thin sandwich.
  4. Use blue painter’s tape and wrap to secure all four corners of the paintings. Viola!

You can also use those silicone plastic dots, but wine corks seem more romantic to me! 😆

***Place your precious little painting bundle somewhere safe like in your carryon luggage. When you get home you may have to touch up the edges of these gems. But, this tip works great (especially for plane or backpacking travels) and cuts down on the bulk! Also, when traveling I use the lightweight #109 linen panels by Multimedia Artboard. And of course I paint sovent-free with Cobra Oil Paint which makes life and travel so much easier!


PS. I just had a cancelation for my South Africa Painting Safari! And I have a few spaces available for my upcoming Idaho painting retreat. Let me know if you would like to join us. Click Here for more info.


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Water Mixable Oil Painting Demo with Lori McNee on PleinAir LIVE

Water Mixable Oil Painting Demo with Lori McNee on PleinAir LIVE

PleinAir LIVE
Saturday, March 12,

Join Lori McNee at PleinAir LIVE March 9-12 for 3 days of The Best Painting Secrets from 27 of The World’s Top Plein Air Artists hosted by Plein Air Magazine. I’m so honored to be teaching.

"This Will Speed Your Progress Faster Than Any Art School in America!” ~PleinAir Magazine

My Demo is on Saturday, Mar12 at 12PM Central Time. I will be painting with Cobra Water Mixable Oil Paints in winter conditions along the Snake River in Idaho! You can see my demo painting below...

©2022 Lori McNee, "Gray Day on the Snake," 8x10, oil on linen

For more information or to sign up CLICK HERE.

Or buy my video, Luminous Landscape Painting with Water Mixable Oils / available on DVD or downloadable.

Plein Air Painting Retreat in Harriman State Park, Idaho

Plein Air Painting Retreat in Harriman State Park, Idaho

July 17 - 22, 2022

Join Lori McNee and escape into beautiful Harriman State Park, Idaho for a weeklong painting retreat. This is a stay & play retreat rather than a formal workshop. Lori will be leading this unique retreat which will focus on fellow artists painting together and sharing the unique experience of creating art on location, en plein air. There will be daily painting sessions happening within a short walk from your cabin. Plus, there is an optional art show and sale available at the end of your stay!

Located on the Henry's Fork of the Snake River, Harriman Park is less than 40 miles from Yellowstone National Park. This area is teaming with wildlife, world class fishing, breathtaking vistas and rustic Idaho charm. 🤠 Lodging and meals are included.

For more details CLICK HERE.


This official retreat is from Sunday, July 17, 4:00 p.m. - Friday, July 22, 11:00 a.m. with an invite to participate in Friday & Saturday's art show & sale during Harriman Heritage Days. This is your chance to sell the paintings you completed during the retreat. You will receive free lodging Friday & Saturday night courtesy of Harriman State Park. No commission is taken. We provide the booth and the display easels which hold paintings 11 x 14 and larger. You will want to bring frames for your plein air paintings. There will be a table for your mini masterpieces which do not need to be framed.

CLICK HERE to discover more or sign up for this special painting retreat & art sale.


Hope to see you here in Idaho!

PleinAir Podcast: Insider Secrets: Advice from Top Plein Air Pros Revealed

PleinAir Podcast has just released, “Plein Air Insider Secrets - Advice from Top Plein Air Pros Revealed!"

Originally, this was a FREE training webinar which aired on February 23rd hosted by Eric Rhoads of PleinAir Magazine with renowned artists Kevin MacPherson, Debra Huse and Lori McNee.

The webinar was the most popular event to date and now it is available as a FREE  PleinAir Podcast 217.

You'll discover:

  • The best way to learn plein air painting.
  • Things you can do to improve your work fast.
  • What you need to think about before you start a painting.
  • A discussion about equipment and packing.
  • Traveling with paints and easel.
  • Traveling with wet paintings.
  • Plein Air Etiquette.
  • Little things that make a big difference.
  • Unexpected things you need in your backpack.
  • Plus helpful stories from these pros and MORE!

Also, don't miss out on PleinAir LIVE - you can enjoy it from the comfort of your own home. All you need is your phone, tablet or computer.

There's still time to sign up and save for PleinAir LIVE! It’s going to be amazing!! Join me March 9-12 for 3 days of The Best Painting Secrets from 27 Of The World’s Best Plein Air Artists hosted by @pleinairmag ❤️

“This Will Speed Your Progress Faster Than Any Art School In America!” ~PleinAir Magazine

I'm honored to be a PleinAir LIVE faculty member! A sneak peek at the all-star agenda at the end of this post ...

©2022 LMcNee "Gray Day on the Snake River - Idaho" 

I hope to see you at my demo on Saturday, March 12 at 12PM CT! I'll be plein air painting in winter conditions with Cobra Oil Paints along the Snake River in Idaho.

Also, now's your chance to purchase an original Lori McNee landscape painting in the PleinAir Live Faculty Auction.

It's free to sign up! My starting bid is only $200. Auction opens on March 7.  Click Here to see my paintings and for more information.


Happy painting,

Springtime Plein Air Painting Speed Demo with Lori McNee

Here's a little springtime plein air painting speed demo!

After working indoors in my studio for most of the long winter, I was excited to get outside for some plein air painting. But, springtime in the Idaho Rocky Mountains can be blustery and difficult for plein air painting. Nevertheless, I went out and did my best amidst high winds and chilly temperatures.

I hope you enjoy a quick visit in my studio and out in the field for some plein air landscape painting. As usual, I painted with my Cobra water mixable oils which really help keep things easier. In the 2 minute video demo below you can see my process.

I hope you enjoy the first of my new video series, "Lately from Lori."


Landscape Painting Workshop in Seeley Lake, Montana with Lori McNee! June 6-7, 2020

Join me, Lori McNee, for a two day plein air landscape painting workshop adventure in beautiful Seeley Lake, …

Landscape Painting Workshop in Seeley Lake, Montana with Lori McNee! June 6-7, 2020

Join me, Lori McNee, for a two day plein air landscape painting workshop adventure in beautiful Seeley Lake, Montana!

You won't want to miss this exclusive experience! We will be plein air landscape painting together at Rich Ranch in Seeley Lake, Montana - the gateway to the glorious Bob Marshall Wilderness.

Lori and Rocky at the end of a weeklong Rich Ranch pack trip in the Bob Marshall Wilderness, August 2019
Rich Ranch pastures

Rich Ranch and Alpine Artisans of Western Montana have invited me to conduct a special, very affordable two-day workshop, June 6 - 7, 2020.

Space is limited so sign up now!

Join us for a two-day springtime painting adventure! You will experience "Montana's Serengeti" in the spectacular Blackfoot Valley.

The stunning landscape is home to a wide variety of watchable wildlife including elk, deer, moose, bear, mountain goat, trumpeter swans alongside a large variety of other birds, and more!

Plus, the Rich Ranch meadows will be dotted with horses and dazzling wildflowers. Experience the beauty of spring in Montana.

Lori plein air painting near Rich Ranch last August, 2019

Alpine Artisans is a non-profit dedicated to promoting and preserving the arts in the Seeley, Swan, and Blackfoot valleys of Western Montana. Their motto, "We Paint. We help young artists DREAM."  Alpine Artisans host working professional instructors to teach and inspire artists of any level.

I am honored to help support the arts in Western Montana! I hope you can join us for, Painting For A Dream!

Spend two days “at the Ranch” and it will give you a lifetime of inspiration!

  • WHO: All levels beginner to professional welcome.
    Painting For A Dream: 2-Day Resident Art Workshop with INTERNATIONALLY acclaimed instructor, Lori McNee. Lori will also be available to answer your art business questions.
    WHEN:  Saturday and Sunday / June 6 & 7, 2020
    WHERE: Rich Ranch in Seeley Lake, Montana
    WHY: To support aspiring artists with a dream!
    HOW MUCH: $250.00 for two days. Includes lunch and snacks.

*Limited to 10 participants. Lodging and other meals are separate, Rich Ranch details below.

Click here for more information & sign up!

For any additional workshop information or questions call Kris at 406-241-1209.

*Cozy cabin rentals available at Rich Ranch. Contact Belinda Rich directly at 406-677-2317.

Lori with her friend, Kirsty, at Rich Ranch!